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Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Is Simply Real Wood, Engineered for All Areas of Your Home
What is engineered hardwood and how is it made?
Engineered Hardwood is built with the ply-base and real wood top layer for several reasons & serves multiple purposes.
- It increases the dimensional stability of the planks, which also allows for stronger, wider planks.
- The top wear layer can be sanded/refinished multiple times.
- Engineered hardwood can handle humidity levels better than solid. That means less expansion and contraction over time. It is much more stable than solid and doesn’t warp or hump the way solid does.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring Installation
Engineered Hardwood Flooring is very versatile when it comes to installation.
- It can be glued down, nailed, floated. The ply-base in engineered planks allows for installation in all areas and levels of your home along with the ability to glue to concrete slab and in some cases it’s compatible with radiant heating.
Note: We don’t recommend gluing down solid hardwood to a concrete slab (only engineered floors can be glued down to a concrete slab).
- It can be installed below ground level, on ground level, and above ground level.
- Engineered flooring can be installed in higher moisture areas such as basements or kitchens, especially if you want to maintain a consistent look throughout your home or office.
Engineered Flooring Durability
Engineered Flooring is a long-lasting, durable, beautiful, and low-maintenance choice. Prefinished engineered hardwood is especially durable because of the factory-applied coating.
While engineered flooring is very durable and scratch-resistant, the biggest determining factor in scratch-resistance comes down to you specific floor’s wood specie and finish type.
Hardwood floors come in a variety of different wood species such as, hickory, oak, maple, walnut, etc. Each of the wood species has a “Janka Hardness Rating” that determines how durable that specific floor is.
Solid Hardwood Flooring
Solid Hardwood is Classic, Timeless & Authentic
Solid hardwood planks are simply milled from real wood and left at that. They are made up of a solid piece of wood and nothing else. The benefits of solid hardwood are:
- They are a classic choice that have been used for hundreds of years.
- Solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished about 5 to 6 times.
- It is an eco-friendly choice with a natural look.
Solid Hardwood Installation
Solid can be glued or nailed to a wood subfloor.
Solid hardwood can be installed on or above ground level. We don’t recommend installing it below ground level such as in basements or any moisture prone areas.
Hardwood Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Engineered Hardwood vs. Solid Hardwood?
A Solid Hardwood plank is cut to size and left at that. Simply milled as the name says, a “SOLID” product.
An Engineered Hardwood plank consists of different layers in which the top layer is the finished Hardwood and the base layers are Plywood or a wood substitute, such as a Pine or Birch, also known as a Solid Core VS. Ply-base. This method of Engineering results in increased dimensional stability which gives the Engineered Hardwood many benefits, some of which are:
- It prevents the floor from warping due to moisture.
- Wider, stronger planks for a longer-lasting stable floor.
- Glue down the Engineered Hardwood directly to your concrete slab.
- Install the Engineered Hardwood Below Grade level such as a basement, on Grade Level, and Above Grade Level.
- Install the Engineered Hardwood over Radiant Heating.
- Sand and Re-finish your Engineered Hardwood.
What preparation is necessary before installing hardwood floors?
When ordering hardwood flooring how much extra should I order to allow for waste?
Should I expect my hardwood floor to have color variations?
Can I install hardwood flooring if I have a dog or other indoor pets?
Can I install hardwood flooring in the basement?
How does moisture affect my hardwood flooring?
How do I clean and maintain my hardwood flooring?
Is engineered flooring more expensive than solid hardwood?
For example, a standard solid hardwood plank is (3/4″ x 5″ Wide X Random Lengths) and a standard engineered hardwood plank is a (1/2″ x 2mm Veneer x 7 1/2″ Wide x Random Lengths). If we compare these two, they range about the same price, given they are the same wood species. The solid can be sanded about 5-6 times while the engineered only about 2 times. But if we upgrade the wear layer to a 6mm to match the sandable surface of the Solid 3/4″ plank, your price on the engineered hardwood can increase drastically.
In conclusion, engineered hardwood is an advanced version of the solid hardwood with increased dimensional stability, therefore costing a little more money. A very important factor to keep in mind when comparing prices of engineered hardwood against solid hardwoods is the quality. Anything thinner than 1/2″ x 2mm wear layer and especially an HDF (High-Density Fiberboard) base compared to a Ply-base/Solid Core will be on the low end for a much cheaper quality and price.
What are the benefits of engineered wood flooring?
- A much larger selection of style and sizes with planks as wide as 12 inches plus.
- Glue, Nail, or Floating Installation.
- Ability to install hardwood even in areas with higher moisture content such as a basement or below ground level.
- Less Expansion and Contraction which results in tighter seams from board to board, even longterm over an extended period of time.
- Consistency with one floor installed in Entire house over wood subfloor or concrete.
- Install over Heated Floor System.
- Sand and Refinish your floors and make them look brand new just like you would for solid hardwood.
What rooms are best suited for engineered wood flooring in a home?
Since the floor is less prone to expansion and contraction to relative humidity levels, it can be installed below ground level in basements and directly glued to concrete or glue/nail to your wood subfloor for one consistent floor in the entire home. This leaves it up to you to decide where you would like to install your engineered hardwood, living rooms, bedrooms, hallways and all of the above.
Some areas of concern are primarily bathrooms and laundry as there is always water involved in one way or another. Large areas such as living and family rooms along with unique staircases will always be on the top of the list for areas to install hardwood as the bigger the room the more of the natural wood to attract the eye.
What floor types can engineered hardwood be installed over?
If there are any existing floor types and interest in installing on top of what’s already there, please consult a licensed flooring contractor. Depending on the floor type, you could be taking a risk that will void your warranty and cause long/short term defects. Be sure to refer to the warranty of the actual product.
How thick is the hardwood veneer for engineered hardwood?
Anything thinner than a 2mm risks scratching beyond the wear layer, exposing the wood underneath and doesn’t allow for refinishing your floors. If you don’t plan on refinishing your floors, then that’s an affordable way to go with engineered hardwoods. With that being said, anything less than a 2mm is falling off the grid and anything thicker than a 6mm is overrated.
Can engineered hardwood be sanded and refinished?
Given that the wear layer on the hardwood is 2mm or more, you have the option of sanding and refinishing your flooring. You can sand/refinish a 2mm about 1.5 times, 3mm about 2.5 times, 4mm about 3.5 times, ect. Even though there are some floors that have an 8mm wear layer and some that have less than a 2mm, generally speaking, the wear layer of a nice standard engineered hardwood ranges from a 2mm to 6mm.
A 6mm Wear Layer being equivalent to the sandable surface of a Solid Hardwood, can be refinished about 5 or 6 times. The thicker wear layers add up to the longevity of your floors with the ability to make them look brand new again and again.
Do engineered wood floors scratch easily?
Scratch resistance is determined by the species of the wood and the type of finish. If there is a cause for concern, there are three main factors to keep in mind when you buy engineered hardwood floors: species, finish, and surface character.
Species such as Ipe, Brazilian Teak, and Brazilian Cherry are known for having a high rating on the Janka Scale, which measures the hardness of the wood. But, generally speaking, Acacia and Hickory are on the higher end of difficulty to scratch/dent, Oak and Maple fall somewhere in the middle, and Walnut and Birch are on the softer end, making them most prone to scratching.
The finish on the hardwood is also intended to protect against scratching and normal wear & tear. There are many types of finishes but the two most popular are the Polyurethanes and the Oil finishes. The polyurethanes are known to have a higher resistance to scratching and the oils are known for the natural beauty radiating from the hardwood floors.
One of the final factors to keep in mind and equally important especially when it comes to looks, is the surface character. Characteristics such as distressed marks, saw marks, chiseled edges, and the more traditional looking floors with the hand-scrape finish will be a lot more forgiving when it comes to scratches, especially when compared to the smooth shiny finishes which just seem to attract and point out every little imperfection.
By choosing the harder species, combined with a stronger finish, your hardwood can be at the top of the list as far as how hard it is to scratch.